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First failure, then success, led Sean Cercone to WVU

A bumpy road of rejection and failure brought Sean Cercone to West Virginia University in 1999. Visiting campus in 2017 as a senior vice president, he watched the musical he co-wrote come to life in the same building where he received his shot at success.

Cercone was interested in studying theatre after high school, while his parents wanted him to go into the medical field. He took the path his parents suggested, but eventually failed out of two nursing schools and one emergency medical technician program. When his best friend needed a copilot on a trip to visit Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland, from their hometown in Upstate New York, Cercone volunteered.

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WVU Symphonic Band will give worldly performance Feb. 28

“The selections chosen for this program reference various locations around the world, either directly or indirectly,” said Scott Tobias, director of bands at WVU. “Audience members will enjoy the sounds of Irish folk music, dance music from Southeastern Europe, and a composition inspired by the gathering of an army in the Middle East during Biblical times.”

“Kirkpatrick Fanfare” by Andrew Boysen, Jr. starts the program. The piece has an overarching Irish flare, including a strain of “Danny Boy” and exciting brass sections. 

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Giving back to the place where it all began

For the Youngdahls, West Virginia University is a multi-generation family affair that all started at the College of Creative Arts. Their WVU experience – and the life that followed – is the reason they give back through the Richard Powell Trombone Scholarship.

Jon Youngdahl came to WVU on a Board of Governors scholarship in 1968 to study music education, although he always knew he wanted to play trombone for a living. Jon immersed himself in music during his time at WVU, joining the trombone ensemble, a local soul band called the Abductors and eventually starting his own band. The group was so popular around town that they ended up with gigs almost every Friday and Saturday night during the school year.

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WVU Theatre takes on ‘Pericles’

The romantic and adventurous “Pericles” by William Shakespeare comes to life at West Virginia University in March.

The play follows Pericles, king of Tyre, as he attempts to escape murder while finding himself, his home and his family. In the end, Pericles and the other characters go through extreme highs and lows.

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